Why culture change programmes fail

One of the biggest misunderstandings in the corporate world is the idea that workplace culture can somehow be created or shaped through externally-imposed ‘values’. This is a misunderstanding of what culture actually is. Culture is a result, not a starting point, and exists as a subconscious reflection of individuals’ worldview – the way we see and understand the world.

Culture is thought – and more specifically, our relationship to thought – in action. We only need look to foreign countries, cultures and languages to see how profoundly thought shapes our understanding of the world, and how far the outside imposition of ‘values’ gets us. The external symptoms of culture – behaviours and ways of doing things, whether we view those as negative or positive, productive or unproductive – reflect the unconscious internal worldviews of the individuals that make up that culture, and can shift only through personal insight; through the mind seeing something new.

Without addressing the variable of thought, and people’s understanding of how thought creates their (and others’) worldview, comprehensive organisational culture change – the kind that is generated from within people’s hearts and minds – simply cannot happen. When people gain a meaningful appreciation for the variable of thought, differences in values or opinion become irrelevant and the creation of a respectful, productive, thriving culture becomes inevitable.

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In Category: Culture change

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Susan Andrewes

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